The URDU traveled a skeleton crew to the 40th annual West Point Military Academy Debate Tournament over Meliora Weekend. The competition was excellent and West Point’s historic setting is awe inspiring. All of our debaters won half of their preliminary debates. Both Varsity teams advanced to elimination rounds.
The team of Ben Batha & Tommye Weddington finished in 9th place, after dropping to Cornell on a 3-0 decision in the octa-finals.
Vijay Kasschau and Alyssa Schwartz defeated Towson on a 3-0 in octa-finals and dropped to Liberty on a 2-1 in quarter-finals. They finished 5th overall in the tournament.
Kasschau was also awarded the 8th place speaker award.
In addition to debating, a highlight of the tournament was the key note address by long time debate supporter, Colonel Mike Meese. Colonel Meese recently returned from Afghanistan, where he used skills learned as a debater to better serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for General David Patraeus. Meese’s address to the debaters emphasized the importance of civil dialogue in our country’s polarized partisan bickering. Debate, Meese hopes, teaches students to respect the complexity of all sides of an argument. The URDU thanks Colonel Meese for his service to the country and his support over the decades to the debate community.